Most of the studies I've seen that are used against floridated water do not come at the issue head on because they know that they will not find the data they want, so they have to end run around the issue and point out things like how poisonous floride is as a naked element.
I agree that it should just be added at home if someone needs it and there is really no reason to put it in the water. I suspect it was intended to allow the poorest people to have some chance at keeping their teeth, but if those people don't brush or go to the dentist (And I did not when I was dirt poor... go to the dentist that is), they will have bad teeth anyway.
I'm tired of people giving their kids a 6 pack of soda a day and then saying that the Government is trying to ruin their kids teeth.
Exactly. It is an easy way to reduce dental carries. From a cost-benefit public health standpoint its a wise decision.
Its no different than fortifying your milk with vitamin D or having all pregnant women take prenatal vitamins high in folate. Sure you could test everyone pregnant woman for the genetic markers for the 5 or so mutations which lead to folate-deficient defects (neural tube defects), but its not efficient and its not cheap. The genetic tests are expensive and not everyone would be able to afford them, let alone get insurance companies to pay for them.
Its far easier to have all pregnant women take prenatals with folate. Is it perfect? Of course not, neural tube defects still occur (sometimes unrelated to folate too might I add), but the two alternatives would see a higher number of NTDs than the current solution. Likewise, a small percentage of people (outside the bell curve) have an adverse reaction to too much fluoride exposure and some people still get cavities (I've never had one!). Cost wise, and in reduction to dental expenditures and oral hygiene its certainly a great benefit (compare dental caries in parts of the world where fluoride is not available to those where fluoridated water and toothpaste are used).
All of public health is a numbers game. It has to be, because of individual variation you can't have one solution for everyone. You have find a common distribution, which you can find affordable treatment for and deal with the outliers on an individual basis.
One day, hopefully our technology evolves enough (in both cost and function) that a small sample of blood taken at the time your born will let us know how and when to treat medical or potential conditions for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, we're not there yet.
Edited by Copasetic, 22 February 2011 - 06:56 AM.